Dolan monitoring report released

As part of the large in-stream Dolan property project in 2010, SWMTU is required to monitor the status of the project and report the findings. By following this link, you can read the 18-page report.

If you are interested in just the summary, here it is ….

The Dolan Habitat Improvement Project is a unique and innovative effort to restore coldwater habitat to a designated county drain. The project was designed to improve aquatic habitat, while having minimal impact on stream flow and drainage-related function. Thirty five log structures were constructed for this project.

Initial results are encouraging. The logs appear as though they are naturally occurring and have been in place for a long period of time. Water is free flowing through the project reach and, based on Year 1 monitoring results, there are no significant concerns for bank erosion or physical instability of the structures.

Trout populations were found to have increased by about 2.5 times in the first year of monitoring, with an increase in the amount of naturally reproduced fish. Several trout, many of them very large, were observed spawning within the project area during the first week of November, 2010. Macroinvertebrate scores increase by three points, and remain Excellent. A slight increase in physical habitat score is directly related to addition of log structures. Long-term results will dictate the overall success of the project on improving aquatic populations.

Continued project monitoring will be extremely useful for determining wise use of future funds. If the project is determined to be a success, several opportunities for similar projects exist in the area, and throughout the state. It is anticipated that the project will serve as an example of successful coldwater restoration in a designated county drain – two uses of a resource that have traditionally been conflicting.

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